What am I? Fruit or Vegetable?
The cucumber is a creeping vine plant of the Cucurbitaceae gourd family that bears cucuminform fruit. It originated in South Asia, but now grows on most continents. There are three main varieties of cucumber – slicing, pickling and burpless/seedless. The cucumber roots in the ground and grows up supporting frames by wrapping around or it will simply sprawl along the ground. It has large leaves that form a canopy over the fruit. While the cucumber is classified as a type of botanical berry, it is perceived as a vegetable. It is low in calories, fat, cholesterol and sodium.
Hydration – Consist mostly of water and contain important electrolytes to help prevent dehydration which is essential to maintain a health intestine
Bone Health – Rich in Vitamin K it helps with blood clotting and supports bone health; it also contains Calcium and Vitamin D
Cancer – Contains cucurbitacin which may stop cancer cells from reproducing and the fiber found in the skin of the cucumber may help prevent colorectal cancer
Cardiovascular Health – The fiber and cucurbitacins found in the cucumber skin may also help prevent atherosclerosis and high blood pressure
Diabetes – May play a role in controlling/preventing diabetes by lowering blood sugar or stop blood glucose from rising too high
Inflammation – May have anti-inflammatory benefits that aid the immune system fight against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, autoimmune conditions, depression and cancer
Skin Care – Contains nutrients that can help cool and soothe skin, reducing swelling and irritation and alleviate sunburn; placed on the eyes it can help decrease puffiness and a face pack of cucumber juice and yogurt can reduce dry skin and blackheads
Recipe – Cucumber Salad
½ cup chopped onions
2 cups chopped tomatoes
3 ½ cups chopped cucumbers
¼ tsp. celery seed
¾ tsp. dill weed
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. garlic powder
1 cup soy sour cream
Combine all ingredients into bowl and gently mix together. Serve immediately or chill first. Yields 5 cups.